UPDATE, 2:40 p.m.: Ã‚Â As expected, the Rangers are calling up Thomas Pock to fill Ozolinsh’s spot on the roster.
Ã‚Â UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: The RangersÃ‚Â have confirmed that Ozolinsh was putÃ‚Â on waivers, which one would assume is effectively ending his tenure with the team.Ã‚Â
Ã‚Â UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.:Ã‚Â TSN.CA is reporting that the Rangers have placed Sandis Ozolinsh on waivers, but we haven’t received word of that yet from the theÃ‚Â team. Stay tuned…Ã‚Â
Finally, a day off for the Rangers, which might not have been earned as much as it was absolutely necessary. Consider the options, after all: the Rangers take a day off to heal in preparation for tomorrow’s re-match with the Islanders; or they try to work out some of their many kinks in practice, only with IVs stuck in all of their arms.
Ah yes, flu season, which is something I never really had to deal with whileÃ‚Â covering golf. I won’t lie: there were moments post-game last night when I could have sought out a few extra players for comment, but in the interest of self-preservation, I kept a respectable distance. I know, I know. Somewhere Edward R. Murrow is turning over in his grave.
Meanwhile, the good news about the flu is that is usually goes away, but I’m not sureÃ‚Â some of the problems exposed last night against theÃ‚Â DevilsÃ‚Â are going to be as fleeting. Are the Rangers destined for a spot in last place and an irrelevant late winter? Should Tom Renney comb the local Starbucks in search of more fruitful employment? And if so,Ã‚Â shouldn’t a former CanadianÃ‚Â Olympic coach and Jack Adams Award finalist rank ahead of a 16-year-old kidÃ‚Â hoping to payÃ‚Â for new rims on his Corrola?
No,Ã‚Â as hard as this may be to believe, butÃ‚Â I’m not sure any of the events of the past weekend necessitate a full-on crisis mode, 15-3 combined score or no 15-3 combined score. Are the Rangers flawed? Yes.Ã‚Â Could solutions be found outside theirÃ‚Â own dressing room?Ã‚Â Sure. But more important now is to just get everyone back in one piece.
Ã‚Â In the meantime, a few quick hits:
Ã‚Â <li>The trials of Peter Prucha continue: Whatever the Rangers decide about their immediate future, one would hope that it would include the sophomore in the lineup. I was all for Renney’s decision to sit Prucha one game last week against the Flyers, mostlyÃ‚Â because I thought it might shake him out of his slump. But I didn’t understand him doing it again against Toronto, and outside of injury, I can’t imagine a scenario when Prucha is not at least one of the team’s top nine forwards. And this doesn’t have anything to do with Prucha scoring a goal last night, although that certainly didn’t hurt. More important is that he provides a spark on nearly every shift, and continues to throw himself into warm’s way without a moment’s hesitation. Players feed off of that sort of effort. I’m not sure the same can be said about every player in the lineup.
<li>Interesting post from reader Brad about his encounter with Glen Sather last night. In case you missed it, here it is below:
“After the game tonight I was walking out underneath, while Glen Sather was walking in. Someone yells at him nice job Slats team looks good and he thought it was me and said, ‘If you want to talk to me ask and we can talk man to man, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t yell at me.’ I said i would love to talk to you glen but I did not yell at you. Among the highlights from our conversationÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ me telling him how the team is poorly coached and often lacks hustle, how the fans are getting disheartened by watching the same veterans make the same mistakes night after night, and how i can not stand when we change five on a dump in and give the team a free breakout. His answers to me were the kids are not ready yet and that he would love for me to sit down with him so he could teach me about hockey. All in all though, i respect that he took the time to talk to me.”
Ã‚Â AsÃ‚Â Brad pointed out, I’m not sure theÃ‚Â Boss provided much in the way of a satisfactory response regardingÃ‚Â fans’ concerns, particularly if one of those answers was thatÃ‚Â Brad didn’t understand hockey. But I, too, thinks Sather deserves credit for at least trying. I doubt we’re ever going to reach a point when every fan is content. But the more the Rangers keep the lines of communication open between management and fans, maybe the easier it would be to understand each other. OK, this ends the “We Are The World” portion of our program.
Ã‚Â <li>No updates from the team regarding Matt Cullen (sprained knee)Ã‚Â or Marek Malik (strained groin) but I would assume the team is considering bringing someone up from Hartford. I’ll pass it along when and if I have something.
OK, that’s all for now. More later